The Himalayan Republic Celebrates First Republic Day Anniversary
[From a year ago: 1. Nepal is Declared a Republic!!! 2. Minute by Minute Account of the Historic Session of the CA that Declared Nepal a Republic
Republic Day rally in Pokhara, Nepal. Pic by Krishna Mani Baral
The first anniversary of the declaration of federal democratic republic of Nepal is being observed throughout the nation on Friday (today). Hundreds of thousands of Nepali people within and abroad the country are celebrating the first republic day. A large number of people thronged the capital to observe a special function organised at Tundikhel in which various cultural programmes and other vibrant displays were organised by the government appointed organising committee. Continue reading Happy Republic Day Nepal 🙂
“I announce that Madhav Kumar Nepal has been elected unopposed in the position of Prime Minister as per the Constituent Assembly’s Legislature-Parliament Business Advisory Regulations 2065.”
With that declaration from Subash Nemwang, the chair of the CA, today evening the moderate Marxist and Leninist leader became the third communist prime minister in Nepal. MK Nepal had previously served as the deputy prime minister in the nine-month-long government led by his Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist and Leninist)’s Manmonah Adhikari, the first elected communist prime minister of Nepal. That was in 1994-95. MK Nepal led the party for 15 years from 1993 to 2008 as the General Secretary. He took over the responsibility after the accidental death of charismatic communist leader Madan Bhandari. He resigned from the post citing moral responsibility for his party’s humiliating defeat in the Apri 2008 CA polls. He was later nominated in the CA. Continue reading Madhav Nepal, the Moderate Communist Leader, is the Prime Minister of Nepal
>>>President Intervenes>>>But the President who is the supreme commander of the army, tells ‘sacked’ General Katwal, to continue with the job in a late night letter. President said he received letters from 18 political parties in the Constituent Assembly in which they said they were against the government’s decision to sack the General. President also noted that he found proper procedures were not met to sack the General. This has invited mixed reactions from lawyers and constitutional experts. Finance minister Baburam Bhattarai has termed President’s action as ‘constitutional coup’ saying that it would be countered ‘in the government, on the streets and in the Constituent Assembly.’ Meanwhile, the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government has fallen into minority after the CPN UML, second largest partner in the coalition, pulled out from the government earlier in the day.
>>Army Chief Sacked>>Today’s controversial meeting of the cabinet that was boycotted by the major partner in the Maoist-led ruling alliance has decided to sack the Chief of the Army Staff, General Rookmangad Katwal. Katwal has refused to accept the letter that says he is sacked while his number two in the Nepali Army Lt. Gen. Kul Bahadur Khadka, a Maoist favorite, has accept the letter that appoints him as the acting head of the army. General Katwal has gone to the Army headquarters and is reportedly holding meetings with top generals. Last week the Army refuted media reports that suggested that it was preparing for a Bangladesh-style coup in which President would be used as the face of the new government.
After the cabinet meeting that was boycotted by CPN UML, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal went to call on the President. The cabinet decision will only be enforced after the ceremonial head of the state approves it. President Ram Baran Yadav is against the sacking of the army chief and has been continuously suggesting the government to take action only on consensus. In his initial response to the cabinet decision, the President has been reported as saying that he was unhappy with the decision as no proper procedure was followed. It remains to be seen, at this point in time, how he and Katwal will go ahead. Whatever happens, it’s confirmed that the Maoists have been able to create unprecedented division in the institution of the national army with whom they fought the war until 2006.
Meanwhile the opposition Nepal Congress party has called for an all party (minus Maoist) meeting this afternoon to discuss the cabinet decision while the UML has convened an emergency meeting of the standing committee.
…that led the UML to stay away from the oath taking ceremony. Only eight ministers were sworn-in yesterday as UML said they won’t join govt without 2nd ranking in the cabinet
The UML proposed that its senior leader Bam Dev Gautam be ranked in the second position after PM Dahal while the Maoists presented their senior leader and Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai for that slot.…a report by Ghanashyam Ojha
The three-party journey has landed in hot soup at the very outset, with a major partner–CPN (UML)–boycotting the swearing-in ceremony yesterday citing the ‘seniority order’ in the newly formed cabinet. With the UML’s decision to abstain from the function, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal administered the oath of office and secrecy to only eight ministers–four each from the Maoists and the Madhesi People’s Rights Forum (MPRF)– at the President’s Office Friday evening. The Maoists are yet to finalize the names of five ministers. The UML decided to boycott the swearing-in at the last minute as it differed seriously with the Maoists over the issue of who should be the senior-most minister in the cabinet hierarchy after the PM. Continue reading Problem of Seniority in the Cabinet (and List of New Ministers)
By Bishnu Pathak
The 100-day marathon of uncertainty after the April 10 Constituent Assembly (CA) election finally ended on July 21, 2008 when Dr. Ram Baran Yadav of the NC-UML-MJF alliance won the run-off with 306 (52%) out of the 590 ballots cast. The Maoists candidate Ram Raja Prasad Singh was defeated with 282 (48%) votes. On July 19, none of the presidential candidates received the majority of votes, except the Vice President Paramananda Jha. Almost all national and international forces tried their best to support the formation of a new national consensus government, prioritizing the PM for the Maoists, the ceremonial role of President for the NC, and the chairmanship of the CA for the UML. Continue reading Nepal’s Presidential Election: Victory of Anti-Maoist Forces
By Dinesh Wagle
This is a typical third world story, the story of poverty and frustration and greed and anger and feud. For poor and deprived, every opportunity however small that may be, comes as an equivalent to the piece of bone for hungry stray dogs. Those people fight like those dogs. I am talking about the current feud among political parties and leaders regarding the representation of Nepal in the SAARC summit in Sri Lanka this week. As Kathmandu Post news editor Ameet Dhakal argues in the article below, the whole issue is such a trivial that it doesn’t really deserve the attention and time that it is getting from the so called big, powerful and influential leaders of this country.
Not that I am FOR Prime Minister Koirala’s participation in the summit because I like him but I am also not AGAINST the participation of Nepal in the summit because the absence of Nepal will result in the postponement of the summit itself. And this feud and personal clash between Koirala and Pushpa Dahal doesn’t qualify to be the reason for the postponement of the summit. But this is the question I want to ask: What if, for example, Nepal suddenly comes under attack now? Won’t we fight under the leadership of THE CURRENT Prime Minister regardless of his status- caretaker or not? Will Pushpa Dahal and company argue, in such situation, that we should fight until he is appointed the PM? The other day
Pushpa Dahal demonstrated how low he can go to fulfill his personal wish by holding talks with the Sri Lankan envoy in Kathmandu. This so called nationalistic leader openly discussing the internal politics of our country with a foreign ambassador is a national shame. But then this is not really new because he and many others are doing the same with Indians or Americans as well. Anyway I guess seeing Nepali leaders fighting in the name of participation in the SAARC those stray dogs might be feeling that they are far better than Nepali political leaders. Continue reading Dogs and a Piece of Bone
Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Nepali Congress General Secretary, has been elected the first President of the republic of Nepal in the presidential run-off held today in the Constituent Assembly. Yadav, backed by a coalition of NC, UML, MPRF and other fringe parties the CA, got 308 votes-almost a dozen more than needed for the simple majority- while his rival Ram Raja Prasad Singh, who was considered the Maoist candidate for the presidency, ended up with 282 votes. 590 out of 594 lawmakers had cast their votes in the president poll run-off that kicked off at around 8 and ended at around 11 this morning, according to the Election Commissioner’s office.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao answers question relating to Nepal: On July 22, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao answered one question regarding to the election of President and Vice President of Nepal. His answer is as follows:
We have noticed that the Constituent Assembly of Nepal has elected the first President and Vice President in history, and the Chinese side is happy to this and expresses its congratulations to the newly elected President Mr. Ram Yadav and Vice President Mr. Paramananda Jha. China, as good neighbor, good friend and good partner of Nepal, sincerely hopes that the peace process of Nepal could keep going ahead, and Nepal could realize political stability, economic development and ethnic unity as well.
July 22, 2008
U.S. Congratulates CA and the People of Nepal on Election of a President: The United States congratulates the members of the Constituent Assembly and the people of Nepal on the successful election of a President, Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. With a President, and a Vice President, duly elected, the Constituent Assembly can now undertake the next essential steps in the formation of a new government to provide the services and security the people deserve, and to begin the simultaneous work of drafting a new constitution.
Continue reading Ram Baran Yadav is the First President of Republic Nepal
Both candidates-Dr. Ram Baran Yadad and Ram Raja Prasd Singh- failed to get enough votes (simple majority) for today’s presidential polls while Paramanda Jha, a candidate filed by Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, fourth largest party in the CA, got elected as the Vice President. Yadav got 294- four votes short of the simple majority while Singh got 284. Jha got 305 (not officially verified). Of the total 594 voters registered, 578 CA members cast their ballots while 16 CA members stayed away from the voting centre. CPN UML had supported NC candidate Dr. Yadav while pulling back, unofficially, the candidacy of their man Ramprit Paswan.
Or is it the Maoists who will actually lead?
By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle Street Journal
There is a saying in Nepali: thangna ma sutaunu. CPN Maoist has done the same to the CPN UML (United Marxists & Leninists). UML is out in the cold thanks to the cunning politics played by the former rebels. It appears almost certain (though you can never predict political happenings, especially the Nepali) that the Maoist’s candidate for the president of Nepal will be indeed the first president of Nepal. Events are evidences that Maoists are succeeding to guide the Nepali polity by their, and only, their, terms. First they gave the lollypop of president to the UML and got the UML vote in the CA (as legislative parliament) to thwart the Nepali Congress proposal of providing a seat to the leader of the opposition leader in the National Security Council. Maoist continued luring UML with the President lollypop while they strategically sidelined the NC, second largest party in the CA. UML kept dancing while Maoist was having second thought about the lollypop. UML was all high thinking that Maoist would help elect one of their top leaders, namely the poor unfortunate MK Nepal, as the first president of Nepal. Continue reading The Presidential Shock to UML: Ultimately Madhes Leads!?!
Protests start against ‘One Madhes, One Province’ outside CA
Today: With the government all set to address the demands forwarded by the Madhes-based parties through a supplementary amendment bill, various indigenous groups residing in Terai have expressed strong objections to the “One Madhes, One Province” demand. Some 22 organisations including Tharu Welfare Assembly have been staging demonstrations outside the Constituent Assembly (CA) venue at New Baneshwor in the capital on Saturday (today). Earlier today, representatives of about 15 organisations concerning the Tharu community took out a protest rally against the ‘One Madhes, One Province’ demand in the capital. The participants of the rally that was organised by Tharu Welfare Assembly, an umbrella organisation representing the Tharu community, appealed to stop converting Tharuhat land into Madhes immediately. They also requested not to use the term ‘Madhes’ in the interim constitution. They stressed that the entire issues including that of the Madhesis must be decided by the CA.
The indigenous groups of Terai said that the identity of the indigenous groups will disappear if the whole Terai region is declared Madhes. They also expressed concern claiming that attempts were being made to hand over their native land, political and civic rights to the Madhesi community. Continue reading Roundup: Madhes and the Obstruction at CA